“AAAAAAAAAAARGH!” a voice screamed. And then, suddenly calmer, it continued. “Malfoy let out a terrible scream and bolted — so did Fang. The hooded figure raised its head and looked right at Harry.”
Twenty-two-year-old Cindy Del Rosario was just reading aloud from the anniversary edition of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — as did some 600 other people on Tuesday (September 23) at the New York headquarters of Scholastic, each of them sitting in the throne Rowling herself had used for appearances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City.
Potter fans — from eight-year-old Adam Abadi (and Harry Potter lookalike) to celebs like KayCee Stroh from “High School Musical,” Marcia Gay Harden and MTV News’ own Kurt Loder — stood in line for their chance to help read the first book in the series cover-to-cover. Some had been there since just after midnight, camping out. Others showed up at 8 a.m. on the dot, when the reading began.
Some people only read once, or only read one page. Others, like 18-year-old high school senior Brandi Fanning, read a little more. In fact, Brandi may have set the record for the event, reading aloud 18 times, while 18-year-old wizard rocker Devon Bennett from the band Fred and George carefully read a total of seven times (seven being a more symbolic number in the series), and wore a different Weasley-inspired outfit each time. (All readings were webcast on Scholastic.com/ReadHarry and were broadcast out into the street.)
Harden read more than eight pages, with assistance from her 10-year-old daughter Eulala Scheel, who was celebrating a birthday — just like Harry. The two broke out British accents for the voices of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
“This is all because of Eulala,” Harden said. “We read with flair. We don’t just read the words.”
“It’s for the pure enjoyment,” Scheel said.
“She dresses up,” Harden said. “The robe, the tie, the shirt, the jumper — I would say she’s a Hermione.”
“I’m a bit of Hermione and Ginny,” Scheel said.
And for one day, everybody got to be every character they ever wanted to be. Some of them, more than once.
What are you doing to celebrate/commemorate Harry Potter’s ten-year anniversary this week?